NEWS | Dec. 13, 2019

M1-Series Tanks: Keep Your Engine Happy and Healthy


Your M1-series tank’s AGT1500 engine can last a long time with proper care. How long?  The goal is a minimum of 1,400 hours.
But with proper maintenance and operation, engines can keep going for much longer than that. Here’s how to make sure your tank’s engine performs like it should for many more hours:
  • Take the proper precautions when running your tank through the wash rack. No high-pressure water inside the tank!
  • Mechanics, doing a ground hop the wrong way is an invitation for foreign object damage (FOD). Be sure to cover the engine inlet plenum whenever the power pack is removed from the engine compartment.
  • Use high thermal stability oil (HTS) in most circumstances. But check the TMs and LOs for the right oil at the right time.   
  • Keep the pulse jet system (PJS) buttoned up, especially during operations. Improvements in the PJS means that removing V-packs in the field for cleaning is unnecessary.
  • Make sure the plenum seal’s inlet screen is in good working order. That’ll keep dirty air from getting past the air filtration system.
  • Update the digital electronic control unit (DECU) with the latest software. That’ll help the engine run cooler and therefore last longer.
  • Follow the proper startup and shutdown procedures. That’ll extend the life of the recuperator. A faulty recuperator means the engine gets less oxygen and less oxygen means poor engine performance.
You can get an idea of how much more service life your tank’s engine has by doing the following:
  • Perform the DECU engine health check. You’ll find the procedures in the -10 TM.
  • Inspect the engine’s compressor blades. If they’re fouled by carbon and suffering from FOD, the engine could be in trouble.
  • Keep an eye out for a smoking engine and/or unusually high oil consumption. Reviewing your tank’s Army Oil Analysis Program (AOAP) data could help determine if there’s a serious problem.
  • Have your field service engineer (FSE) flow test the #5 and #6 engine bearing packages. If the flow readings are out of range, the bearings could be about to fail.
  • Perform the semiannual vehicle speed test. The test requires the tank to reach and maintain a specific speed based on the TM’s speed test table. If it does, your tank’s engine is healthy. If it doesn’t, then the problem might not be the engine. Again, the TM provides the necessary follow-on checks before the engine is considered at fault.
The bottom line is that your tank’s engine, if properly maintained and operated, is just getting started at 1,400 hours!
An M-1 series tank conducts tank crew gunnery
Photo by Sgt. Mason Cutrer